United States District Court, D. Delaware
James Arthur Biggins, a prisoner incarcerated at the James T.
Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna, Delaware, commenced
this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action on December 4, 2017. (D.I.
3). Plaintiff was denied leave to proceed in forma
pauperis and he appealed. On May 3, 2018, the order was
vacated. (D.I. 11). The United States Court of Appeals for
the Third Circuit expressed no opinion on the merits of
Plaintiff's complaint. (Id.).
Background. On May 17, 2018, Plaintiff filed
a motion for an emergency injunction. (D.I. 14). On June 5,
2018, the Court denied the motion for an emergency injunction
and screened the complaint. (D.I. 16, 17). The complaint
listed 92 defendants in its caption, raised three discrete
claims (i.e., correctional staff deficiencies,
medical staff deficiencies, and hazardous environmental
conditions), and had no prayer for relief. (D.I. 3). Upon
screening, the Complaint was dismissed for failure to state
claims upon which relief may be granted, and Plaintiff was
given leave to amend on or before July 2, 2018. (D.I. 17).
September 17, 2018, the case was closed after Plaintiff
failed to timely file an amended complaint. (D.I. 23). On
September 20, 2018, Plaintiff filed a motion to vacate
judgment, construed by the Court as a motion for
reconsideration. (D.I. 24, 27). The Court granted the motion,
reopened the case on November 2, 2018, and gave Plaintiff
until on or before December 3, 2018 to file an amended
complaint. (D.I. 27). The Order warned Plaintiff that the
matter would be dismissed and the case closed should
Plaintiff fail to comply with the order.
Amended Complaint. On January 25, 2019, when
the Court entered a scheduling order for a response to
Plaintiff's January 23rd motion for injunctive
relief, it reviewed the Court docket and stated that
Plaintiff had filed an Amended Complaint on November 14,
2018. (See D.I. 33). The November 14th
filing was not docketed correctly, however, and the Court
erred in relying on it. A review of the November
14thfiling indicates that it is titled,
"Plaintiff's Renewed Motion for an Emergency
Protective Order." (D.I. 28) Clearly, it is not an
amended complaint. The filing states that Plaintiff cannot
comply with the December 3, 2018 deadline to file an amended
complaint because of prison rules limiting an inmate's
legal material to one box. (Id. at 4, ¶14).
Plaintiff was told to go through his property and pick out
what he needed. Plaintiff explains that he submitted a
grievance, but prison officials refused to process the
grievance and advised hm to write to Captain Dodson and see
where his property was taken for storage.
Plaintiff states that he cannot meet the deadline for filing
an amended complaint, or meet deadlines in any other cases,
without the legal property in Defendants'
possession. Plaintiff seeks a protective order
"holding that the Defendants, or their agents, shall
return [his] legal property in all new and undamaged boxes
and any and all other remedies that may [be] deemed
appropriate for the Court!" (D.I. 28 at 5). Plaintiff
previously raised this issue in a motion for an emergency
injunction he filed on May 17, 2018. (D.I. 14). On June 5,
2018, the Court denied the motion. (See D.I. 16,
17). On January 23, 2019, Plaintiff filed a second motion for
an emergency injunction identical to the May 17, 2018 motion.
(D.I. 31). He also filed a request for counsel. (D.I. 32). In
the meantime, without a viable complaint before the Court and
no entry of a scheduling order, Plaintiff served discovery on
Defendants (see D.I. 34), and on April 5, 2019, he filed a
motion to compel responses to his discovery requests
(see D.I. 45).
though Plaintiff stated that he could not meet the
Court's December 3, 2018 deadline to file an amended
complaint, he did not move the Court for an extension of
time. Plaintiff was warned that his failure to timely comply
with the Court's November 2, 2018 order would result in
dismissal of the case. Plaintiff did not comply with the
order, did not seek an extension of time to file an amended
complaint, and did not file an amended complaint by the
December 3, 2018 deadline. Some four months later, he still
has not attempted to file an amended complaint. Therefore, as
stated in the November 2, 2018 order, "[t]he matter will
be dismissed, and the case closed." (See D.I.
Conclusion. For the above reasons, the Court
will: (1) dismiss the complaint and close the case; and (2)
dismiss all pending motions as moot (D.I. 28, 31, 32, 45). A
separate order shall issue.
 In screening the Complaint, the Court
observed that Plaintiff framed the action as a consolidation
of two cases he filed in the Delaware Superior Court, one of
which was dismissed as factually and legally frivolous.
Plaintiff did not provide either Superior Court complaint to
the court, and neither was considered as the complaint.
Plaintiff was advised that to the extent he sought to raise
those claims dismissed on March 1, 2017, in Biggins v.
Carney, C.A. No. K17C-02-038 JJC (Del. Super.), he was
barred from doing so under the doctrine of claim preclusion
which limits a party's ability to raise claims that
either were or could have been litigated in a prior action.
See Reaves v. Pennsylvania Board of Prob. &
Parole, 580 Fed.Appx. 49, 52 (3d Cir. 2014). The
complaint in C.A. No. K17C-02-038 JJC was dismissed as
factually and legally frivolous and Plaintiffs appeal was
dismissed after he failed to pay the filing fee. See
Biggins v. Carney, No. 183, 2017 (Del. 2017) (appeal
dismissed July 12, 2017, for failure to pay the filing fee).
The Court noted that Plaintiff may not use this Court as a
means to seek relief for claims considered and dismissed by
the Delaware Courts because allowing him to do so would allow
him to use the federal courts to appeal state court judgments
and, thus, would run afoul of the Rooker Feldman
doctrine. The Court further noted that naming 92 defendants
made the complaint unmanageable, that the three discrete
claims appeared to have different factual and legal issues,
and that because none of the defendants were referred to in
the complaint, it was impossible to determine whether the
three discrete claims involve issues of law or fact common to
all 92 defendants.
 On April 12, 2019, the Court directed
correction of the docket entry, which now reads, "Motion
for Emergency Injunction."
 Plaintiff does not identify these